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The simplest solution to this seems like it would be to use a named lock. http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/miscellaneous-functions.html#function_get-lock IF GET_LOCK('my_arbitrary_lock_name',0) THEN ... DO RELEASE_LOCK('my_arbitrary_lock_name'); ELSE ... END IF; This pool of locks is independent of table locks, metadata locks, row locks, or ...

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